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The Juice: Alex Rios bounces back from benching with grand slam against Braves

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Alex Rios wasn’t exactly pleased after Robin Ventura benched him for what the manager perceived as lack of hustle during Friday night‘s loss. On Saturday, Rios began taking out some of those frustration against Atlanta Braves pitching, delivering a three-hit game in the While Sox 10-6 victory, including a third inning grand slam off of Paul Maholm.

Then afterwards, he got a little off his chest verbally.

From MLB.com:

"If he wants to make a statement for the team, it probably worked," Rios added. "I don't know what his intentions were. But that's what I wanted to see."

Ventura didn't respond harshly to Rios' critique. In a matter-of-fact but direct tone, Ventura said the moment was handled and you go from there. He also understood Rios' request for the one-on-one admonishment, but made the basic point that physical errors are acceptable, but the same can't be said for lack of hustle.

"Again, you're handling it for 25 guys," Ventura said. "I get where he's coming from, but from where I'm coming, he probably understands how I have to do it.

It's a situation that will blow over quickly. In fact, it probably already has. And you can also bet no damage has been done to Rios' trade value. Especially after lighting up the Braves on Saturday.

Red hot Rays: Desmond Jennings reached base four times and Jeremy Hellickson won his fifth straight decision as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Blue Jays, 4-3 in Toronto. The victory is Tampa’s 12th in their past 13 games and improves their record to 57-41. That’s the third most wins in baseball and they also hold the best record since May 8 at 43-23.

All about Hanley: Though Yasiel Puig has cooled (0 for 9 since the All-Star break), Hanley Ramirez has remained locked in for Los Angeles. On Friday, his two-run homer off Stephen Strasburg kept the Dodgers in the game and allowed Andre Ethier to win it with a home run in the ninth. On Saturday, his RBI double in the tenth inning was the big hit in their 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. In total, he had three hits in the game, raising his season average to .390 through 41 games.

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MORE SCORES

Mets 5, Phillies 4: Cole Hamels reaches a career-high 12 losses after allowing four earned runs in five innings.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: Joey Votto drove in two runs, including his 500th career RBI.

Mariners 4, Astros 2: One hit was all Seattle needed to win this bizarre game.

Yankees 5, Red Sox 2: The talk of the game was Chris Stewart's remarkable double play.

Brewers 6, Marlins 0: Miami has not scored a run since last Sunday.

Twins 3, Indians 2: Glen — don't call him Scott — Perkins picked up his 23rd save.

Royals 6, Tigers 5: Kansas City gets to Justin Verlander for six runs (five earned) and holds on with three scoreless innings from their bullpen.

Padres 5, Cardinals 3: Speaking of quality relief, Nick Vincent, Dale Thayer, Joe Thatcher and Huston Street each tossed hitless innings to pin down a victory for Edinson Volquez.

Rockies 9, Cubs 3: Todd Helton had three hits, including his 578th career double. That ties him with Wade Boggs for 18th all-time.

Orioles 7, Rangers 4: All nine Baltimore starters had at least one hit. Seven of them had multiple knocks.

Angels 2, A's 0: C.J. Wilson retired 18 straight batters from the first to the seventh innings and allowed only three hits overall in 8 1/3 innings.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Dodgers are now one-half game behind Arizona in the National League West.

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A Wookie pauses for the National Anthem at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Of Andrew McCutchen's 12 home runs, 11 have been solo shots. (via @JeffWallner)

• Justin Verlander has allowed five runs in a start five times this season.

• The Angels had to cancel batting practice due to rain on Friday but the game went on without a hitch. They still have not had a home game rained out since June 16, 1995.

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